Generic Universal Grocery List

Cooking, Food 4 Comments

grocery store by Andrew Bain
Photo by Andrew Bain

Over the past couple of years I’ve developed what I call my Generic Universal Grocery List. It covers breakfasts, lunch, and dinner for two people for a week (give or take), and allows for enough flexibility to make a whole bunch of different things. Note: we both work from home, so we prepare and eat the vast majority of our meals there.

This list evolved over time, really — I started by doing meticulous menu plans then cobbling together lists based on those, etc. I started to notice patterns developing, so rather than building a from-scratch list every week, I’d pull up the previous list and just edit that. Finally I made the GUGL, and I’ve been using it every week for a few months. It works for us, but it’s still an ongoing work in progress — we still end up throwing away more produce than we should, so I’m still tweaking things.

How to use the list

It’s important to realize that we don’t buy everything on the list every time. We:

    1) Make a fresh copy of the list each week
    2) Go through and delete stuff we don’t want or need this time around
    3) Check and add any needed staples (oils, vinegars, flour, etc)

So, here’s the pre-edited list with some inline notes. Where there are multiple items separated by a slash, we’ll pick one of those and delete the rest. This is also ordered according to where things generally are in our grocery store, if you’re wondering why it seems a bit random at times.

Generic Universal Grocery List

Produce (enough for 6 meals, snacks & sandwiches)
* coleslaw (pre shredded cabbage mix)
* baby spinach/salad greens
* lemons
* limes
* apples
* bananas
* blueberries/raspberries
* avocado
* tomatoes
* zucchini
* scallions
* leeks
* potatoes
* onions
* shallots
* garlic
* ginger
* mushrooms
* peppers
* napa cabbage/bok choy
* squash/yams

Sandwich stuff, Dips, Pasta (mostly lunches)
* sandwich meats & cheese
* fresh tortellini/ravioli
* parmesan cheese
* hummus

Bakery
* sandwich/toast loaf/panini buns
* english muffins
* pitas/tortillas

Meat (usually 3 meats + eggs)
* salmon/shrimp/scallops
* chicken/turkey
* pork/sausages
* beef/veal
* bacon
* eggs

Dairy
* butter
* milk
* yogurt (plain)
* yogurt (flavoured)
* cottage cheese
* shredded cheese
* cheddar
* orange juice
* apple juice/cider

Staples & Other
* coleslaw dressing (can’t be bothered making my own)
* olives
* diced tomatoes
* tinned beans
* rice/quinoa
* dried pasta
* chicken stock
* beef stock
* cereal/oatmeal
* coffee cream
* maple syrup
* sugar
* ginger beer

Non-food (mostly reminders to see if we need ‘em)
* tinfoil
* parchment
* coffee filters
* laundry detergent
* dishwasher detergent
* dish detergent
* garbage bags (blue)
* garbage bags (green)
* paper towels
* toilet paper
* handsoap

4 Responses to “Generic Universal Grocery List”

  1. Zach Says:
    April 26th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Epic:

    Domain Name: gugl.com

    Administrative Contact:
    DNS Admin
    Google Inc.

  2. Tyla Says:
    April 27th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    This is a good idea, and like most good ideas, a shockingly simple one. How many times a week do you do groceries, btw?

  3. dria Says:
    April 27th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Once per week, usually Wednesdays.

  4. dria Says:
    April 27th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I just finished today’s version of the list, which includes a few extras because I’m going to make Dr. Robert Love’s World Famous Carnitas this week.

    Here’s the edited & ready-to-print version:

    Produce
    * cilantro
    * asparagus/fiddleheads (spring!)
    * scallions
    * peppers
    * fresh oregano, thyme, bay
    * lemons
    * limes (8-10)
    * oranges (3 navel)
    * apples
    * avocado
    * tomatoes
    * zucchini
    * shallots
    * garlic
    * ginger
    * red onion
    * potatoes
    * salad greens

    Sandwich stuff, Dips, Pasta
    * sandwich meats & cheese
    * dried pasta (fusilli or penne)
    * parmesan cheese
    * hummus (NOT SPICY)

    Bakery
    * sandwich/toast loaf
    * flour & corn tortillas
    * ciabatta
    * english muffins

    Meat
    * scallops
    * pork (shoulder roast – 2kg)
    * beef (brisket)
    * chicken (breasts or whole chicken)
    * eggs

    Dairy
    * milk
    * cottage cheese
    * orange juice
    * apple juice/cider

    Staples & Other
    * tinned beans
    * maple syrup
    * sugar

    Non-food
    * coffee filters
    * toilet paper
    * COOKING TWINE (all caps because I always forget)

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